NEW YORK — Russell Corp.'s plan to cut 2,300 workers and shift more business overseas as part of a major restructuring came after a year in which the athletic giant was hampered by higher costs, lower sales in its core business and operational problems partly related to Hurricanes Rita and Katrina.
The storms disrupted the company's supply channel — 40 containers of "critical products" were lost or damaged — forcing the firm to pay more to expedite orders. Wal-Mart said it would discontinue Russell's boys fleece program, which represented $30 million to $40 million in sales, and polyester prices soared to 82 cents a pound on Oct. 24, from 69 cents on Sept. 26.
Last year "was a difficult and disappointing year for us," Jack Ward, Russell's chairman and chief executive officer, said on a call with analysts Friday. "We faced unanticipated operational issues resulting in lost sales, higher manufacturing variances and higher distribution costs....We suffered lower than anticipated sales throughout the balance of the year with missed sales and lost reorder opportunities."
Russell's sales in the nine months ended Oct. 2 gained 12 percent to $1.08 billion, but much of that increase was driven by acquisitions such as Brooks Running.
The athletic apparel company said last Thursday night that it would cut 1,700 positions in the U.S. and the remainder abroad, and freeze retirement benefits as it moves more of its operations to foreign countries.
Wall Street responded positively to the new strategy, sending shares up 8 percent to close at $14.52 Friday in New York Stock Exchange trading.
As part of the overhaul, the operations of Russell's women's activewear brand Moving Comfort will be merged with Russell's athletic division, Ward said.
"We have already begun the consolidation of Moving Comfort into our Russell Athletic Group," he noted.
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion
“I’m Russian and I love to use all these little tricks that I got from my grandma or my mom. We didn’t have a lot of money for creams or anything like that so we would use a garden as a beauty treatment regime. We’d put cucumber in the fridge and do a cucumber mask,” says model @irinashayk on one of her beauty hacks. WWD asked celebs what their go-to self-care rituals are. See what Naomie Harris, Freida Pinto and more said on WWD.com. #wwdeye #wwdbeauty (📷: @zefashioninsider)
Exclusive: @viktorandrolf are teaming up with @Zalando on a collection made from leftover clothing. The lineup, which lands at the retailer February 1, includes 17 pieces adorned with sliced up and repurposed overstock from the retailer’s private label collection. Pictured here is a look from the collection –– see more on WWD.com. #wwdfashion #wwdnews
@duewestnyc is the newest bar joining the collection of intimate neighborhood-focused spaces in the West Village. The cocktail menu, which includes bitters and syrups made in-house, offers a “Build Your Own Old-Fashioned” – like the one pictured here – where guests can choose from a list of spirits and unexpected sugars and bitters. #wwdeye
Spotted at last night’s National Board of Review gala in NYC: Angelina Jolie. Jolie – along with Meryl Streep, @lupitanyongo and more – continued the all-black dress code from Sunday’s Golden Globes. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)